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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Gibson J-45 Progressive bridge modification

Peegoo
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Always

trust your cape
May 19th, 2018 05:18 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a J-45 Progressive that came with some non-traditional features (robo-tuners, tune-o-matic style bridge, and some other "modern" stuff). The guitar played, sounded and looked great when brand new. And the price was a *steal* so I took a chance.

Retailers were having a hard time moving these because they are such a departure from a typical acoustic guitar. But the ES-175 parallelogram markers and the unique sunburst (unavailable on any other Gibson acoustic) made the guitar very unique and dee-lux lookin'.

I swapped out the robos for standard Grovers with pearl knobs after six months. I tried to like the robos, but no joy.

And a few months after that, the TOM bridge started to give way in the middle. It was caving in--the same way some Les Pauls and SGs did years ago. The string radius went from flat, to concave, and things started buzzing.

I contacted Gibson and they sent me a replacement bridge--the metal piece that deformed; it holds the saddles and is supported on either end by adjustable posts.

The part arrived, and it's basically the same as the original part. Rather than roll the dice and possibly deal with another bridge failure, I decided to modify the bridge to accept a standard acoustic saddle.

I used a stick of pau ferro, cut to the same size and shape as the TOM bridge, so it slips right into place nice and snug. I slotted it and profiled the top to match the radius of the strings.

A small detail that's hard to see is a little chamfer on the back side of the block behind the saddle. This prevents the strings from resting on it as they come up from their anchor positions.

The first half of this story is over in the Unplugged section.

Pics of the horrific butchery of this sacred a-koo stick

Leftee
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VA

May 19th, 2018 05:22 PM   Edit   Profile  

Nice!

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Always

trust your cape
May 19th, 2018 05:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

I used my scroll saw too!

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Always

trust your cape
May 19th, 2018 05:32 PM   Edit   Profile  

This is what it looks like.

Zoom in to see the original TOM bridge

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

May 19th, 2018 05:35 PM   Edit   Profile  

Weird orphan guitars follow you home, huh?

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Always

trust your cape
May 19th, 2018 05:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

um...let's just say I can see the potential in juvenile delinquents. It makes me want to....SING

"I believe the children are our fyoo-cherrrrrr..."

"She's beautiful, she's rich, she's got HUGE...tracts of land!"

Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

May 30th, 2018 11:24 AM   Edit   Profile  

That project turned out very nicely, good job!

Peegoo
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A dog

in a cake shop
May 30th, 2018 11:38 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks Rick. The honeymoon is still on.

Stratmanx
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Memphis, TN

Jun 1st, 2018 01:32 PM   Edit   Profile  

Why in the almighty heck would Gibson put robotuners and a TOM on a J45 ?

Anther indication that Henry J is ready for his room at the funny farm.

Good work, nice to see a traditional look and functionality.





Peegoo
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A dog

in a cake shop
Jun 1st, 2018 07:06 PM   Edit   Profile  

They were trying to appeal to the younger/non-trad players, perhaps.

The cool thing is they didn't sell, so retailers were blowing them out well below cost. Anyone with some basic woodworking skills could get a great deal on a brand new J-45 and do some simple mods.

Added bonus is you can sell the robotuner module for a $100 or so and recoup the cost+ of the replacement tuners.

None of the mods I did are permanent and the guitar can be put back to 100% stock with no signs of modification. But I don't think about that sort of stuff (having to sell it) anyway. It's not that important to me.

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 09:10 PM, Jun 1st, 2018)

Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Jun 1st, 2018 07:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

Nice work, brother.



wrnchbndr

New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Jun 2nd, 2018 08:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

Agreed. Very nice work. Are you able to describe a tonal difference with the change in bridge configuration?

Peegoo
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A dog

in a cake shop
Jun 2nd, 2018 04:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks gents. I used the same strings that were on it before, and it sounds a bit louder and more sparkly ("lively?") in the top end.

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Gibson J-45 Progressive bridge modification




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